Dasmunsi defends AFC Challenge Cup organisers

August 5th, 2008 - 6:55 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 5 (IANS) Stung by the criticism of the organisational failures at the AFC Challenge Cup in Hyderabad, All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Priyaranjan Dasmunsi Tuesday went on the defensive, saying the AIFF did its best in the time and resources available. “I am neither totally satisfied nor disappointed with the organisation. I admit that the facilities could have been better. It is just the beginning. We have limited resources. We were given a task to host it in difficult conditions and we did our best under the circumstances,” Dasmunsi told reporters when asked about the poor ground condition during India’s crucial match against Turkmenistan.

Twice the venue of the tournament had to be shifted because of poor under-foot conditions. The turfs at both the Lal Bahadur Stadium and Gachibowli Stadium turned slushy after heavy rains. The practice facilities were no good and Indian coach Bob Houghton refused to train there, following which the practice venue, too, had to be shifted.

“We do not have our own ground. Most of the grounds in the country are owned by corporations or trusts. This is one area we are focusing on. We are negotiating with corporate houses and hopefully by next year we will have our own grounds,” he said.

Dasmunsi said he was very happy with the performance of the team and hoped they would qualify for the 2011 Asian Cup.

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